I hear it all the time. "Carien, I've been working my butt off, yet the scales aren't budging and my measurements are showing very little change! What's the point?" When you kick off a healthy weight loss plan, and you increase your exercise, your body goes through a very big transformation.
First of all - you are building muscle and it is important to remember that because it is denser - muscle actually weighs more than fat. Add this to the fact that a lot of my clients are breastfeeding mums - and believe it or not, but when you feed your baby also affects the scales. If your breast are full of milk - of course you are going to weigh in heavier than if bub just had a feed.
When I do the first repeat fitness test with my clients - we find that although the scales and girth measurements show little or no change, the skin folds show a major improvement and it is that body fat % that I base success in the first 4-6 weeks on. During the 4-6 week period, as I said before, you are building muscle. The muscle is replacing the fat which causes the girth measurements to remain the same and sometimes the scales to tip even higher than the initial assessment. This is totally normal. Once your body has built up that wonderful lean muscle - the lean muscle will be burning your own body fat to fuel itself. This is why it is very important to keep your muscle tone once you have established it. And this is why exercise is a very important element of any weight loss and fitness journey.
These very same clients who are feeling despondent measure much better in their fitness testing - which means their bodies are adapting and they are becoming fitter and stronger. And once they see the body fat % drop (quite significantly in some cases) they are once again motivated to push on.
There is no quick fix (that is healthy and sustainable) to help you lose weight. The only way is hard work and dedication. If you don't give it your all, you won't get the results. Keep at it - the results will speak for themselves in the end.
For weeks (probably more like months) I have been stuck on a plateau. I know how to get rid of it and break the pattern, but I've been putting myself last - it's a mum-thing.. Sick kids, school holidays, starting a business - all have taken precedence over my weight loss. Not anymore!! Tomorrow I am starting my 8-Week Challenge. And what for a PT will I be if I don't practice what I preach??
Today I did my own measurement, goal setting and fitness testing session. Tomorrow I will hit the ground running and start off with a early morning sesh in my revamped fitness studio. I will eat right and do the right kind of exercise to reach my goals! I can do this - and so can you!
To my 8-Week Challengers - good luck! Let's take our goals and smash them one-by-one!
So how will my 8-Week Challenge work?
Firstly - don't expect a diet. This is a lifestyle change. It has been proven that it takes 21 days to create a habit. By following my challenge guidelines I will help you (and myself) to create healthy habits when it comes to fitness and nutrition. Once we have created the habits - we will build on them and by the end of 8-weeks we should be able to see and feel a notable difference!
Because there is no diet involved and I don't expect you to be taking any supplements it is also safe for breastfeeding and pregnant mums. It is not a weight loss only program and you will definitely not be cutting out any food groups or cutting (or counting) calories. Every challenge will be tailored to suit the challenger. As a pregnant mum, correct nutrition and safe exercise will be beneficial for both you and your unborn baby. For breastfeeding mums, it will help you shift some of the baby bulge in a healthy manner and feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. And with a qualified PT who has an extra qualification in pre and postnatal exercise you will have an added advantage.
So take the plunge with me. Let's do this thing together! Challenge starts tomorrow!